In late 2016, thousands of demonstrators descended on camps in North Dakota to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline. Once those camps were finally cleared in March 2017, North Dakota residents were faced with a staggering array of issues. Protesters decided to light the camp on fire once they were forced to vacate. Cleanup efforts of an estimated 21 million pounds of trash and debris left behind required 835 dumpsters to haul away and cost as much as $1 million. Not to mention the cost of policing the protests, which surpassed $22 million.
And some would appear to want to recreate that chaos and destruction right here in Louisiana. Cheri Foytlin, an outspoken opponent of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline, calls for Standing Rock participants to travel to Louisiana to join her at a protest camp in our state.
As Foytlin related in a recently-posted Facebook video:
We need your help. We need people, we need boots on the ground – that’s what we need. Where’s the warriors? Where’s the people that stood up at Standing Rock? I seen people from my own state go 1800 miles to defend the water at Standing Rock. We need you here. We need you here.
This is yet another instance of these protesters attempting to distort the optics of their misguided movement by drawing on out-of-state protesters – not to mention the possibility of creating another nightmare protest scenario in which the safety and peace of mind of local community members are disrupted.
Louisianians don’t want their public safety threatened by yet another Standing Rock situation that disrupted public safety, cost taxpayers huge sums of money, and delayed the safe transportation of energy resources. We know that the Bayou Bridge Pipeline is an important project that will benefit our state, and look forward to construction being completed successfully – without the disruption of non-resident agitators.